AKU Earns Prestigious Zairi International Award for Research Impact

    The Aga Khan University received the prestigious Zairi International Award of Excellence for Research Impact in Higher Education during the 6th MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum (MENA HELF) held in Dubai, UAE, on April 18, 2024. This forum is as an exclusive gathering of higher education leaders from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with a few notable educational and political leaders from the US, Australia, Ireland, and the UK.

    The Zairi International Awards for Excellence in Higher Education, which have six categories, were launched in 2021. The Research Excellence Award was presented by Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future in the UAE, on behalf of the Center for Learning Innovations and Customized Knowledge Solutions (CLICKS), which presents the Zairi Awards on an annual basis. The research award, in particular, recognizes higher education institutions for their outstanding contributions to groundbreaking research, that addresses real-world challenges in a variety of disciplines including social, economic, political, and cultural spheres. The prize, which focuses on tangible impact within communities and disciplines, celebrates achievements that demonstrate meaningful benefits.

    “This award is a testament to the untiring efforts by our faculty members, research teams, research administrators, and university leadership to ensure that research is foundational in everything we do as a university,” said Dr Salim Virani, AKU’s Vice Provost of Research. “Our core values of Impact, Quality, Relevance, and Access (IQRA) are fully represented in the research performed at our university and this award validates those core values of the Aga Khan University.”

    The Zairi Awards recognize higher education institutions that develop and implement creative responses to current and ongoing issues in the field. It considers many factors, including research priorities and strategies that address local, regional, or global issues; innovative approaches that foster sustainability and growth; institutional culture and how well it cultivates leadership and support; measurable impact and results through publications, citations, patents, and external funding; as well as productive partnerships and collaborations for knowledge co-creation.

    “This accolade reflects the dedication and collaborative efforts of our faculty, researchers, and staff who continuously strive for excellence in research. We remain deeply committed to fostering a culture that can drive positive change and address the real needs of communities through impactful research and capacity building”, said AKU President Dr Sulaiman Shahabuddin.

    The Zairi Award of Excellence for Research Impact follows the Zairi Award of Excellence for Disruptive Education, which was granted to AKU in 2022 based on the work of the University’s Network of Quality, Teaching, and Learning, QTL_net, which supports teaching excellence and promotes scholarship on teaching and learning across AKU.

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